Faculty of Health and Society

BSc (Hons) Pre-Registration Nursing (All Pathways)


Module Code NPR4003

Launch: February 2020

For: March 2018 cohort

Module leader: Dr. Clency Meurier Co-Leader: Win Hughes

Key Module Dates NPR4003




Monday 02.03.20 All 10.00 12.30 Module Launch Monday 02.03.20 All 13.30 16.00 Quants and Quals Monday 09.03.20 1 2 3 10.00 12.30 Sampling & Ethics Monday 16.03.20 1 2 3 10.00 12.30 Data Collection Monday 23.03.19 All e-tivity Data Analysis Monday 30.03.19 All e-tivity Dissemination Thursday 30.07.20 All 10.00 12.00 Drop-in Session

Wednesday 16.09.20 All 11.00 13.00 Drop-in Session Friday 16.10.20 First submission (AS1)

1. Submit on-line to the Turnitin portal 2. Send an email copy to supervisor

Friday 13.11.19 First submission results published Monday 04.01.21 Second submission (AS1)

1. Submit on-line to the Turnitin portal 2. Send an email copy to supervisor

Monday 01.02.21 Second submission results published

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Nurses are expected to be able to explain the evidence base for their practice (NMC 2015). They are also best placed for seeing practice through ‘fresh eyes’, identifying areas for improvement and innovation. Consequently, nurses often need to draw on a range of skills and research methods to propose practice improvement.

A Practice Improvement Plan (PIP) in the form of a research proposal is the dissertation for your BSc Hons Nursing course.

The focus for your PIP review must be relevant to your field of practice. You may already have an idea but you should still consider discussing possible practice improvement ideas with your mentors and service colleagues. These stages will provide the material for the final piece of work – the dissertation. You will work independently throughout the process, supported by workshops and a dissertation supervisor. This means that there are limited workshops and supervision time, which is a normal requirement of a dissertation. You are expected to organise your time wisely to complete the module successfully and therefore lead and manage the process.

The Undergraduate Dissertation must not entail any form of primary data collection. This means that you should not collect any data from any individual, patient, carer, family members or staff for this dissertation.

The PIP is a proposed plan not an actual plan, so you are required to write this as if you are proposing to, not actually doing so. This module carries 40 CATS points at Level 6 and is the principal module of your BSc Hons Nursing. This is to enable you to develop your knowledge of sources of information and research in the context of a detailed study of a specialised topic relevant to your field of practice. It is important that you are passionate about the topic you choose as you will need to sustain your interest and effort across the time of the module.

So, what is the PIP?

Your dissertation takes the form of a Practice Improvement Plan, known as the PIP. It involves a thorough, careful and systematic process. The purpose of this is to generate your idea into a coherent research proposal which could be implemented either by yourself in another programme of study or by a healthcare or NHS trust organisation

This process requires you to be resilient and be motivated. To achieve this, you will need to take control of your learning, show commitment to the process and challenge your beliefs and assumptions about the research process. You will be expected to lead and manage this process which will prepare you for registration and your career.

You must identify the aim and research question(s) the PIP hopes to answer, and these should be clearly defined and focused. The methods you propose should be able to demonstrate how you plan to do this and how this will be managed. You will be expected to identify all the stages of the research process and how the presentation of the results will be disseminated.

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How do I choose a topic for my PIP?

The selection of your topic areas is an important first step. You should keep the following concerns in mind:  What have you seen that needs improving?

You are going to spend a long time on this part of your course. You will need persistence – through sometimes rather laborious stages – and motivation. Having a clear idea of what needs improving – for the topic will help you to sustain the effort required through some of the more arduous stages of the process.

 Is it appropriate? The topic must be applicable in some way to your field of nursing practice and have a patient impact . It is a good idea to discuss possible topics with mentors, service colleagues and your Personal Academic Tutor

 Is it feasible (do-able)? You should identify an aspect that needs improvement and that is do-able. You need to consider all aspects of this proposed change e.g. is there literature on this subject already, is the idea too broad. Your supervisor will be able to help you to focus your idea appropriately.

 Is it relevant to your profession, workplace or career? Choosing a topic which is relevant to your professional practice, may enhance the support and help you can secure from colleagues. You should be able to use your dissertation beyond the course to demonstrate both your understanding of the process and your capacity to investigate issues of importance to your field of practice.

We encourage you to discuss your ideas with staff in relevant practice placements and to use your practice experiences to inform your choice of topic. You may undertake visits to relevant areas for informal discussion about the focus of your PIP. However, under no circumstances are you to gather any primary research data from staff or patients. You do not have ethical or Trust approval to engage in data collection. These approval processes take a long time and are one of the reasons why undergraduate nursing dissertations use different methods.

 For example, when you were last in practice, did you see anything that you thought could be done better? Did you see a solution to a problem? Use your “fresh eyes”. Make a list in your journal.

Why is it important to identify a PIP that is relevant to my field of nursing?

Whilst being on your practice placements you may have observed or taken part in practice that could benefit from improvement. The area for improvement maybe small (micro) or large (macro). The improvement needs to relate to and or have impact on patient’s outcome or experience. It should not be on an experience(s) of staff or relationships between you and your mentor or as a direct result of clinical incident. Do discuss your ideas and concerns with your supervisor for clarification.

*Clency’s top tip – Keep your project as simple as possible. Remember you are not doing this for real and that it is an assignment; therefore, a simple improvement and straightforward research approach are advised so that you can demonstrate a critical approach consistent with level 6 work.

Do I have to keep a project journal?

Yes, it is a good idea to do so. Past students have commented that managing time in placement, keeping track of assignments and thoughts when busy is best achieved when keeping a journal. This is an important part of the process as it will help you keep track of where you are in creating the design. At times you will need to search for literature to support your design and keeping a journal will aid this process. It may include your assumptions and beliefs, notes on methods and sources of useful information, records of interactions with practice settings relevant to your review, records from your supervision sessions,

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observations and ideas concerning the clinical environment or the client group and their potential influence on research conducted etc. You may also wish to include in your journal a Dissertation Progress sheet like the one in the Appendix.

Will I need to do an outline of my PIP before I get started?

Yes, this will help with your first meeting with your supervisor. At this stage it is important that you spend some time learning about how to structure a PIP research proposal. Several of the texts in the reading list will help you understand the research process and research design. These texts will help you to understand what a research proposal looks like and how to do it. You are expected to define and explain your proposal and its components.

Will I need to search for literature to support my PIP?

Yes, you will need to justify the methods you propose. Your initial search of the literature (perhaps using a crude search tool, such as Google Scholar) should help you to find out how much research has been done on your practice improvement idea and to help you identify the aim(s) and research questions. You will then need to think carefully about the strategies that you are going to use to search the literature. You will already have undertaken a literature search and review in year two. Below is a brief guide to undertaking this process. You need to ask yourself the following questions:  What are my keywords? These are the words you will use in bibliographic databases.  What are the parameters, inclusion and exclusion criteria for my search and why?  To which libraries do I have access and when?  Which databases am I going to use and why?  How can I gain access to these databases?  Which journals do I need to search and why?  Where can I access these journals?  How can I obtain papers not available in my local libraries?  When am I going to make time to search the literature?

These questions are not an exhaustive list – just a starting point. The Skills hub will have further information on how to search the literature; you will find a link to this on the NILE site. There is online support available for literature searching on the PIP. You can also book a one to one appointment with the Academic Librarian for the Faculty of Health and Society to look at literature searching in your topic area. You may also find it helpful to read around the subject of searching the literature in research methods textbooks or relevant journal papers (see the Aspire Reading List).

What do I include in the PIP?

The PIP will need to show a logical approach to being operationalised. You will need to show evidence of a literature review on your area for improvement; this will form part of your background chapter. This may include primary or secondary literature, policy documents, government reports, chapters from books, and peer reviewed published non-research articles written by an acknowledged authority. This is to set the context and background for the review. An in depth detailed knowledge of the client group and the potential impact of your research design would have if operationalised. Relevant epidemiological data from a range of reliable sources would be required. These sources will provide important material for your background chapter where you explore the context of your chosen area for improvement.

The methods which you propose should be detailed and justified. You may wish to divide your chapter into several sections; approach, data collection, sampling etc. You should document how each of these have been chosen and why, citing appropriate research methods literature.

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You need to inform the reader of how the results of any tests or exploration of phenomenon will be gathered and presented, in what format will they take and how will they be interpreted. You are expected to show knowledge of these tests, the methods you have chosen and their strengths and weaknesses. You will need to show evidence on how this PIP will be implemented and how results will be disseminated. You will need to show your knowledge on the different methods of dissemination. The time frame for the PIP will need to be plotted against a GANTT chart. You will need to show evidence of how this will be undertaken in a feasible time frame. Throughout the PIP you will need to justify every step of the process and underpin this with wide reading from contemporary and relevant sources.

* At every step of the process engage with your supervisor as each PIP will have different challenges.

Typical structure

o Title page (please use format presented in Appendix) o Authors declaration of original work and word count (see Appendix) o Table of Contents o List of illustrations (if any) o Acknowledgements (should be written in a professional style) o Abstract of 300 words maximum o Introduction – You need to define the focus and problem that needs to be improved and rationale for

the PIP in the chosen area. You will need to demonstrate its importance for your field of nursing and outline the structure of the dissertation. This means that you will need to justify your decisions with literature.

o Background chapter – this sets the PIP in its wider context and provides background information to the area of improvement. This is where you review the literature that contextualises the PIP idea. It should tell the reader everything they need to know to be able to understand the issue for improvement. You will need to refer to policies, guidelines and published commentary on your topic. It is not just a literature review.

o The Improvement – you will need to demonstrate what the improvement is in detail. You will need to give as much detail as possible and justify with literature. You will need to insert excerpts and examples of what the improvement is. You will need to explain the terms and contexts of the improvement. You will need to support these decisions with literature. You will need to state the intended outcomes (at least one, no more than two). This means what are the two effects that will occur from this plan. You will also need to demonstrate how the improvement will be implemented, showing that you have considered the theory underpinning making changes in practice.

o Methods – You will need to show which research methods you are planning to be used, why you have chosen them and how they will be utilised. You need to show what your data collection methods will be and their design. You need to consider and include what participants are in the PIP, their settings and justify why. Present how you would put the research into practice – considering ‘gatekeepers’ and the steps you would need to follow. This means this chapter will require you to show your research knowledge and relate your decisions to theory.

o Ethical Issues – You will need to explore the ethical issues that related to you PIP idea and why. You should demonstrate the four ethical principles and the governance of these, relating them to your PIP. You will need to critically analyse the approach you are taking demonstrating how theoretical principles inform actual research practice.

o Data analysis and presentation of the results – You will need to choose wisely and rationally the analysis methods and how the results are to be presented. You may wish to include examples of graphs or tables of such.

o Dissemination – You will need to tell the reader how this will be disseminated, and by what method, is this by conference presentation, poster, and journal article, sharing at a team meeting or using social media. You will need to justify your strategy.

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o GANTT Chart – This will be included and needs to demonstrate key time frames/milestones that you propose the practice improvement will take, this needs to be realistic and justified.

o References o Appendices

This is the expected PIP structure however your idea will be unique and therefore this will not be followed slavishly.

This is a summative assessed piece of work.

Word Limit: Up to 10,000 words (excluding Abstract, Content list, List of References, and Appendices). Work which exceeds this limit will only be marked up to 10,000 words. Any material after that point will be disregarded.

This is important, you will need to: Submit the a) Abstract [see abstract form in the appendices] and Dissertation through TURNITIN, b) by email to your supervisor.

Style The PIP dissertation should be written in clear, concise English and should not exceed the word limit. Please write in the third person, avoiding use of I, we, you, me, my, the author, the student, the researcher. This is an objective theoretical piece of work, not a report of a personal encounter. See Hamill (1999) for further discussion around this area.

You will probably find it necessary to write two or three drafts for each chapter. You should critically examine and correct each draft as you progress through the work. When the final draft is pulled together you will probably also find that you will need to shorten some areas to arrive at a high quality, readable final version. Your supervisor will read one draft of each chapter. Once the amendments are made they will not read this again.

Format and presentation The following points must be observed when preparing the document for submission:  Please use plain rather than ornate fonts. Keep font sizes to no less than 11 point and no more than 12

point with the exception of headings.  The typing must be 1.5 or 2.0 spacing. Pages must be numbered.  The contents of the dissertation may vary depending on the area of the PIP. It should, however,

conform to the typical structure. Variations from this format should be discussed with your supervisor.  Scanned photocopied material will only be permitted if it is of graphs, tables or illustrations to aid

clarification of the text. Copyright should be acknowledged.  Photographs may be used but should be scanned; confidentiality policy for the Faculty of Health and

Society and copyright policy need to be adhered to.  Students are responsible for not breaching copyright or confidentiality of individuals or organisations.

Please read the University policy on Breach of Confidentiality and copyright.  You may wish to print a hard copy for your own records. You are strongly advised to hold a secure

final electronic copy yourself.  You must submit electronic copies with the appendices through TURNITIN and by email to your

supervisor.  Your work (part or whole) must not have been submitted as an assessed piece of work at this or any

other University.

The Supervisory Process

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The major emphasis in this module is on independent study. There will be five compulsory workshops during the first 2 or 3 months of the module. Workshop one is devoted to the research process and will give you information on research design.

In addition, each student will be assigned a supervisor for one- to- one support with a maximum of 6 hours available for personal supervision. This includes time for supervisors to read and critique work submitted by the student, including material submitted by email. Your Supervisor will not necessarily be a member of your field of nursing, but maybe a registered healthcare professional from another discipline. Supervisors are there to provide direction, advice and guidance to facilitate your learning, not as an expert on your topic. Supervisors will not always be able to see you face- to- face. Different methods of supervision will be used including email, skype or mutually agreed group supervision. Therefore, the supervisory relationship is unique and how you lead and mange this process gives you the graduate abilities and skills as part of your degree. Comparing your experience with others can sometimes show differences in how students and staff work; this is not unusual and is part of the process.

Students will normally undertake the work in 30 weeks and will need to devote approximately 10 hours per week to this study i.e. 300 hours in total. However, this will vary for individual students. You are expected to work independently for most of this time.

What are my responsibilities?

It is your responsibility to:  Use workshops effectively by preparing for each workshop in advance.

 Maintain an email account which you should use for all communication with your supervisor. This is normally your usual email address.

 Plan . Do not expect your supervisor to be able to see or speak to you at short notice. Arrange a schedule of appointments with your supervisor, ensuring that you adhere to the agreed schedule and deadlines are met.

 Keep the appointments and ensure the time is used appropriately. This includes planning what you would like to discuss in each meeting. Supervisors are not obliged to answer emails in the evenings after 5pm or weekends bank holidays and annual leave. Therefore, please manage your time accordingly.

 Maintain a record of meetings, you may wish to use the form in Appendix.

 Understand the regulations about plagiarism.

 Take advantage of University support systems E.g. Learning Development, including Dyslexia Support Service, IT services & training, library staff & resources.

 Not misinterpret supportive comments as an indication of high performance or constructive criticism as negative feedback on high performance. Feedback is specific to you, the stage of the process and your ability, and will not necessarily reflect your final work.

 Submit draft work for supervisory comment, giving your supervisor at least 7 days to return it to you. Please remember you are only part of your supervisor’s workload. Present your supervisor with 1 chapter at a time to keep up a steady flow of work.

 Submit all work by email as attached documents, enabling your supervisor to make use of the ‘tracked’ changes & comments facilities within Microsoft Word to provide you with easy to read feedback.

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 You cannot submit work to the supervisor in the last three weeks of the module, however you can ask questions of your supervisor in this time

What are supervision meetings for?

You should expect to:  be provided with direction to help you to manage the dissertation process,  discuss ideas and concerns,  be guided on resources and the development of a topic area,  to be provided with advice on academic style, format and the scope of the dissertation,  be provided with general feedback,  be provided with feedback on part of your dissertation and transfer and apply the comments you

receive to other parts of your developing work.

The frequency of meetings will vary throughout the dissertation process. You will find that during certain stages, you will need more support than at others. It is essential, however, that you see and /or contact your supervisor at least once during every stage and that each section of the work has been discussed. Remember to find out and consider any periods of time when your supervisor is likely to be unavailable, for instance annual leave.

Please note: When you have used your 6 hours of supervision time supervisors do not have to find time to provide you with extra support.

 If you fail to attend a booked supervision session and do not let your supervisor know you are unable to attend, this will count as having used the booked amount of supervisory time.

 Remember that your supervisor will be supporting many other students as well as yourself, therefore do not expect them to remember the detail of your literature review.

What does my Supervisor do?

The role of the supervisor is primarily as a facilitator and to provide advice on aspects including the scope of the study, sources of literature, setting of the timetable, layout of the dissertation and to monitor and make recommendations for your progress.

Your Supervisor will:

 Advise on: the topic of the dissertation and on resources, your methods, referencing / plagiarism, information sources, and the structure and presentation of the dissertation

 Discuss progress on the dissertation  Offer feedback on partial versions of the dissertation, assist the student in identifying problems/issues

and suggest/agree specific action to address these  Read 10% of each section giving advice on presentation, grammar, referencing and academic rigour.  If unable to help in an area, advise you of an appropriate member of staff to assist. Following this s/he

will be available to help you interpret and apply the advice given.  Maintain regular supervisory contact, though they will not chase you  Keep a record of meetings  If s/he is away from work for longer than the usual annual leave periods for any reason s/he will inform

the module leader of your need for support in their absence. Your Dissertation Module Leader will then identify an alternative supervisor for you during the period of absence.

 When necessary, discuss options for extensions or deferral of assessment in line with current mitigating circumstances policy. Where an extension is granted by the supervisor and/or an application for deferral is made s/he will inform the module leader.

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Your Supervisor will not:

 Respond to emails after 5pm or on weekends, bank holidays, annual leave or when on sick leave

 Comment on more than one draft of any section of your work. Don’t waste supervision time by sending multiple revisions of chapters.

 Take responsibility for providing literature or texts.

 Give any indication of your likely Grade during the process.

 Seek you out if you fail to take up the support offered.

 Comment on draft work in the final 3 weeks prior to submission.

 Read or provide feedback on a full draft of your dissertation.

 Extensions will only be given in exceptional circumstances and your reasons must be discussed in advance with your Supervisor.

*Clency’s top tip – If you have difficulty with deadlines and are a “last minute” person don’t expect your supervisor to see you or your work. Planning is essential. Use your diary, pre-book appointments and get in the habit of sending your work through for review. Try booking your next supervision meeting at the end of the current one to help you stick to deadlines.

Dissertation Workshops – these maybe in group format or on line

Workshop sessions are an opportunity for you to bring your own questions and concerns and to discuss these with the workshop facilitator and your colleagues on the following topics:

Workshop 1  Introduction to the module & research design  Quantitative and qualitative methods

Workshop 2  Sampling and Ethics

Workshop 3  Data Collection

Workshop 4  Data Analysis

Workshop 5  Dissemination

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Intellectual Property (IP) What is Intellectual Property? Any IP that is generated by you is owed by you. If the healthcare trust is keen to use and operationalise any new processes that you are developing, you are highly recommended to copyrights this. If however you or your supervisor has significant input into developing the process then an agreement can be made for a joint approach with the university and agreements can be put into place. Please discuss this with the supervisor and module leader.


Don’t panic! – Everyone panics or becomes anxious at some stage. If you haven’t formulated your idea then look again at the taster week materials, discuss with friends and colleagues. Reflect on your placement learning opportunities, was there an issue that could have been improved?

Write down the outline of the PIP – writing it down will help you develop this further. This also helps with the outline which you will need to send to your supervisor.

Keep a journal– this can be a paper one or electronic. It will help with keeping a track of the PIP, your ideas, reading, conversations and other things.

Read about research design – this is so important to understand the design process. If you do not understand this process it will be evident in the final piece of work. There are plenty of reading materials in the reading list.

Contact the supervisor – get to know and keep in contact with your supervisor. This is very important as you will be in placement for parts of this module and you will at times feel that the process is impossible. The relationship with the supervisor is important. Listen to the advice they are giving and bear in mind the realms of the relationship (please see supervisory role section in this book).

Attend the dissertation workshops – this is the opportunity to look at some of the methods you may need to propose for the PIP and to network with others.

Tell friends, family and loved ones you are undertaking this piece of work – at times you may feel guilty that you have neglected these important people in your life. This module is not forever, do talk to your PAT and inform your supervisor if you are feeling overwhelmed.

Remember the snails! – Slowly, persistently and tirelessly they do get there!

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Marking criteria & marking guidelines – See Appendix.

All work will be marked at Level 6.

Support for students and supervisors Any issues needing clarification should be dealt with by the module leader, though the intention is to support the student – supervisor relationship, rather than over-riding it.

Library and Learning Services Library and Learning Services includes the Library, online collections, Academic Librarians and CfAP. They can offer support and advice on:

 Access to information including inter-library loans and access to external collections  Information skills for dissertations including workshops and/or one-to-one support  Skills Hub – online videos and tutorials to help you with a whole range of study skills, including

exploring keywords and time management:  Practice Improvement Project Library Support:

Avoiding Plagiarism – making sure the work is your own!

You are strongly advised to work your way through UNPAD – the University’s Plagiarism Avoidance learning package. This is available on line and you can access it through the module NILE site where you will find an UNPAD button on the left-hand side. Once you start writing your chapters you can also submit your work through TURNITIN to provide you with an objective assessment of each part of your work prior to your final submission.

Using IT to support your dissertation.

Many student’s find themselves in a state of near panic when they are nearing their submission dates and their computers crash or a vital disk/memory stick corrupts. The following advice is presented to help you to minimise the chance of finding yourself in a similar position!

This is probably the longest piece of work you will ever have conducted. Consequently, you should carefully consider what IT resources you have available and how effective these are in handling documents more than 10,000 words. Use the facilities and support services provided within the University of Northampton.

If you are not doing so already, learn to write directly onto the computer. This will significantly speed up your revision time for each chapter you write. Time spent in the early stages of your dissertation learning new tricks to handle large documents will pay off later!

Keep all your work on 2 disks or memory sticks so that you have a back- up copy of every file. Each time you create a new file try inserting the file and disk/storage device names as a footer. Date your files in the file name and this will then also appear in the footer. This way you will be able to identify the most recent version of your work and the location of any file from the printed version. Try to avoid saving everything onto the hard disk, as this will slow down the working speed of your computer.

Loss of data because of a computer crash will not be accepted as an excuse for late submission or justification for an extension.

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Referencing Please follow the guidance carefully. The full Harvard Referencing Guide is available on the Skills Hub:

References and Reading List – PLEASE SEE THE READING LIST ON NILE

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This document forms the definitive overview as to the nature and scope of this module and is used in the University’s quality assurance processes.

The information in this document cannot be changed without approval (except for the Indicative Content).

A glossary of key terms is available.

FACULTY Health & Society



MODULE TITLE Dissertation Practice Improvement Plan


NPR4003 6 40 Clency Meurier Win Hughes






Module is offered only to students registered on the BSc Nursing framework


This module has supplementary regulations Yes


The purpose of this module is to prepare students for their role in leading and implementing service audit, evaluation and improvement. It is designed specifically to address the concerns of employers, the RCN and the NMC that nurses’ practice should be “appropriately based on research, evidence and critical thinking”. The module has been planned in partnership with service providers.


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Knowledge Base Process, purpose and overall aims of a literature review Review literature searching, selection and critiquing strategies Developing service improvement outcomes Review types of research methodology Revisit approaches to data analysis: qualitative and quantitative and mixed methods. Revisit ethical/methodological limitations of research.

Skills Base Time management, planning work, setting and keeping to a timetable Effective data handling strategies Research evaluation and synthesis of evidence for practice. Drawing conclusions from work and making suggestions for further action in an area of practice Strategies for dissemination of contemporary evidence.


Module Learning Outcomes On successful completion of the module, limited guidance students will be able to: Subject-Specific Knowledge, Understanding & Application

a) Critically evaluate and synthesize evidence around an identified area relevant to their practice improvement plan/ audit of practice

b) Critically choose and justify appropriate methodology, data collection, analysis, and methods for implementation and dissemination

c) Demonstrate critical understanding of the legal, ethical and governance boundaries of their profession when conducting a practice improvement plan / audit.

Employability & Changemaker Skills d) Work independently to produce a dissertation practice improvement plan /


Readers are referred to the Programme Specification document for the list of PSRB requirements met by this module.

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TYPICAL LEARNING, TEACHING AND ASSESSMENT HOURS (for the module as delivered on-site at the University of Northampton):

View this table on how learning, teaching and assessment hours map to the KIS Categories.

Learning and teaching information for this module when delivered off-site by UN partners is available from the partner institution’s NILE site (or equivalent). Any variation in study hours must be approved by the University of Northampton before students are enrolled, ensuring that study hours provision is always appropriate to support student achievement of the module learning outcomes.

Learning, Teaching and Assessment activities Study hours Contact hours: (total) Comprising face-to-face and online contact hours as follows: 24

 Face-to-face (total) – this may include the following:

– Face to face interactive large group session (e.g. team-based learning)

– Face to face interactive small group session (generic space in groups of approx. 30 e.g. seminars/workshops/tutorials)

– Supervision


 Online contact hours (total) (comprising online activities with mediated tutor input)


Guided independent study hours 376 Module Total 400

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University of Northampton:

Assessment Activity Learning Outcome s

Weightin g (%)

Code Assessment Type Assessment Deliverables

DI1 Dissertation Up to 10,000 word dissertation

a,b,c,d 100%

The assessment items listed above are graded and contribute to the overall module grade (assessment of learning). In addition, there are opportunities for formative assessment (assessment for learning), which are ungraded, to support students in achieving the module learning outcomes. These are NOT listed.


Version: 1

Date of approval: June 2018

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BSc (HONS) Nursing, Dissertation Practice Improvement Plan (PIP)


Student’s Name: Cohort: Host site:

Personal Academic Tutor’s name:

Preferred email address:

Pathway or Field of Nursing: Adult/Child/Learning Disability/Mental Health (Delete as appropriate)

Idea for the PIP:

Key points on how you will undertake this:

Patient outcomes (a maximum of two):

Proposal Agreed: Yes/No Signed (Dissertation Supervisor): Supervisor’s name:

*IMPORTANT* you will need to register your idea with your supervisor which is best done by the last workshop

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BSc (HONS) Nursing, Dissertation Practice Improvement Plan (PIP) ABSTRACT

Student’s Name: Cohort: Host site:

Supervisors Name:

Personal Academic Tutor’s name:

Preferred email address:

Pathway or Field of Nursing: Adult/Child/Learning Disability/Mental Health (Delete as appropriate)

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Appendix: Outline Timetable for Dissertation.

N.B. This is an example – you will need to fill in your own milestones and dates

Action Parallel ongoing activity Dates 1. Choose topic, complete and

submit outline research proposal proforma Identify practice resources

2. Contact supervisor 3. Conduct a preliminary literature

search and gather information from relevant practice areas to establish the background / context for your project.

Literature Searching

4. Discuss outline proposal and negotiate personal timetable with your supervisor.

Seek support from supervisor as necessary.

5. Refine aims and objectives. 6. Register idea with supervisor and

module leader 7. 1st draft introduction chapter to

supervisor as necessary. 8. 1st draft background chapter to

supervisor as necessary. 9. 1st draft of methods chapter/s to

supervisor. 11. 1st draft of remaining chapters. 12. 1st full draft of thesis – review

length and make necessary adjustments.

13. Submit Dissertation

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Appendix Dissertation Progress Sheet

Monitoring the Progress of your Dissertation

Use this section to keep track of progress on a fortnightly or at least monthly basis – refer back to your chart plan and revise next stage actions according to progress.

Date Tasks completed this period

Barriers to progress

Planned actions for next 2 (4) weeks

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Author’s Declaration.

Faculty of Health and Society University of Northampton


The work submitted here is the author’s own work and has not been submitted wholly or in part for any academic award or qualification other than that for which it is now submitted.

The word count is: …………………


Student’s name:


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Sample Title Page.



Undergraduate dissertation submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a

BSc (Hons) Nursing, Adult Pathway

MAY 2016

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Marking System and Criteria

Your work will be marked by two lecturers: your supervisor and another lecturer who has not been involved in supervising your work. They will provide you with one page of agreed feedback on your work which you may collect following the publication of results in the usual manner.

GRADE CRITERIA: Credit level 3 (6)/ HEQF Honours Level

HE Credit level 3 (6)/ HEQF Honours Level

An outstanding Distinction

An exceptional first

A+ 80- 100

Work which fulfils all the criteria of the grade below, but at an exceptional standard.

A very strong Distinction

A Good First A 75-79 Work of distinguished quality which is based on a rigorous, comprehensive and detailed knowledge base, including awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge and its theoretical, ethical and conceptual dimensions, together with its wider context and implications. Work will demonstrate sustained ability to engage in analysis of new/abstract data and situations, synthesise data and concepts to design novel solutions, critically evaluate evidence and its contradictions, and confidence in application to define and propose resolutions to complex problems relevant to the field of study or assessment task. This will be the basis for authoritative arguments and judgments and work which meets professional standards in relation to a full range of key skills. There will be strong evidence of competence across a range of specialised skills using them to plan, develop and evaluate problems solving strategies, to challenge received opinion and develop reflective judgments and reports. Clear evidence of capability to operate autonomously with minimal guidance in complex and unpredictable contexts using a wide range of innovative and standard techniques will be demonstrated. Outputs will be communicated effectively, accurately and reliably.

A clear Distinction

A First A- 70-74 Work of very good quality which displays most but not all of the criteria for the grade above.

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A Distinction A high upper second

B+ 67-69 Work which clearly fulfils the criteria for the grade below but shows a greater degree of capability in relevant intellectual/subject/key skills.

A very strong Merit

A good upper second

B 63-66 Work of commendable quality based on a strong comprehensive/detailed knowledge base for the field of study, including an assured grasp of concepts, principles and major theories, and demonstrating some awareness of the provisional nature of such knowledge and understanding together with its wider implications. There will be evidence of considered and confident analysis of new/abstract data/situations, synthesis of data/concepts, critical evaluation of evidence and effective application of knowledge skills to address complex problems. The ability to work effectively within professional contexts with minimum direction to meet objectives and take responsibility for quality of outputs and criticise them will also be evident. There will be evidence of capability in all relevant subject based and key skills, including the ability to self-evaluate and work autonomously with minimal direction to use effectively a range of innovative and standard techniques in complex and unpredictable contexts.

A strong Merit

An upper second

B- 60-62 Work of good quality which contains most, but not all of the characteristics of the grade above.

A clear Merit A high lower second

C+ 57-59 Work which clearly fulfils all the criteria of the grade below but shows a greater degree of capability in relevant intellectual/subject/key skills.

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A Merit A good lower second

C 53-56 Work of sound quality based on a firm detailed/comprehensive knowledge base for the field of study and its developing and provisional nature, including a good grasp of current theories and issues both abstract and practical, together with the ability to organise and communicate effectively. The work may be rather standard and limited in its insight/theoretical grasp or depth but will be mostly accurate and provide some evidence of the ability to analyse the new or abstract, synthesise data/concepts, critically evaluate and apply appropriate methods/techniques, with minimal guidance. There will be no serious omissions or inaccuracies and there will be capability in professional contexts. There will be good evidence of ability to take responsibility for own learning, some capability to challenge received opinion and make use of a range of resources to form judgments. Evidence of the ability to operate with autonomy in complex and unpredictable situations, selecting and applying appropriate techniques will be demonstrated within limits. There will be competence in relevant key skills.

A very strong Pass

A lower second

C- 50-52 Work of capable quality which contains some of the characteristics of grade above.

A strong Pass A high third D+ 47-49 Work of satisfactory quality demonstrating a reliable knowledge base and evidence of developed key skills and/or subject based skills, but still containing limited evidence of analysis, synthesis, evaluation or application, or of appropriate detail or skill application.

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A Pass A good third D 43-46 Work of broadly satisfactory quality based on a knowledge base which is coherent and of appropriate depth/detail for the field of study, including a awareness of current theories and issues and some key theories, appropriately presented and organised, but is primarily derivative, with limited evidence of autonomous/creative analysis, synthesis, evaluation or application. Although there will be limits to knowledge and intellectual skills, such that work may contain some omissions, there will be some evidence of an ability to deploy established techniques of analysis and enquiry, sound conceptual understanding and ability to manage own learning and communicate effectively and appropriately. There will be evidence of ability to operate with autonomy in predictable contexts, but less evidence of ability to operate in more complex or unpredictable situations. However, there will be evidence of ability to select and apply a variety of standard and possible innovative techniques, and to meet threshold standards of competence in relevant key skills.

A bare Pass A third D- 40-42 Work of bare pass standard demonstrating familiarity with and grasp of a factual/conceptual and theoretical knowledge base for the field of study, but significantly lacking in either detail/depth or currency. There will be evidence of some independent ability to employ specialist skills to solve problems within area of study, but only just meeting threshold standards in e.g. analysis, synthesis, evaluation and interpretation of data and information, reasoning and soundness of judgement, communication, application, or quality of outputs at this level. Work may be characterised by some significant omissions, limitations or problems, but there will be sufficient evidence of development and competence to operate in a professional manner, respond appropriately to complex or unpredictable contexts and take responsibility for the nature and quality of outputs. Threshold standards of competence in relevant key skills will be evident.

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A marginal Fail F+ 35-39 Work which indicates some evidence of a systematic, coherent and analytical engagement with key aspects of the field of study, including familiarity with current scholarship, and evidence of ability to utilise specialised skills, but which also contains significant limitations in understanding or knowledge, such that there is insufficient evidence of e.g. the ability to sustain arguments, critically evaluate evidence from a range of sources, effectively communicate complex ideas to different audiences, transfer or apply skills to solve problems, in relation to threshold standards.

A Fail F 20-34 Work that falls well short of the threshold standards in relation to one or more of knowledge, intellectual, subject based or key skills at this level. It may address the assessment task to some extent, or include evidence of successful engagement with some of the subject matter, but such satisfactory characteristics will be clearly outweighed by major deficiencies across remaining areas.

A comprehensive Fail F- 5-19 Work of poor quality which is based on only minimal understanding, application or effort. It will offer only very limited evidence of familiarity with knowledge or skills appropriate to the field of study or task and/or demonstrate inadequate capability in key skills essential to the task concerned.

Non-submission/Nil attempt G 0-4 Nothing presented

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  • Practice Improvement Plan (PIP)
  • Typical structure
  • This is the expected PIP structure however your idea will be unique and therefore this will not be followed slavishly.
  • Support for students and supervisors
    • Avoiding Plagiarism – making sure the work is your own!
      • Monitoring the Progress of your Dissertation
      • Appendix
      • Author’s Declaration.
      • Faculty of Health and Society